In the wake of Covid-19 lockdowns, churches need to come up with ways on how their institutions can remain relevant and afloat.
We all know, of course, that churches are Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) supported by their own members, followers and well-wishers through willful contributions such as offerings, tithe and seeds.
However, with government restrictions imposed on gatherings, it means churches need to find ways in which they can still collect contributions—because if they don’t, their institutions will crumble.
Two weeks ago, leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Prophet Shepherd Bushiri trended on social media when, at the end of his two-hour preaching session, asked his followers to make offerings through depositing in the church’s account.
Bushiri severely attacked for the gesture and the blows came from every quarter, notably, believers and, of course, non-believers too.
The argument was that Bushiri should not have asked his followers for contributions because people, because of COVID-19, are suffering.
Bushiri’s public relations team explained that the Prophet was only making a regular call to his members to give so that church projects don’t crumble.
Interestingly, two weeks later, as the country is set for a 21 day lockdown, main churches—indirectly or some directly, have gone on the offensive reminding their members against forgetting to tithe and, also, give offering.
The CCAP Nkhoma Synod have issues a statement asking their members to continue giving tithe during this COVID-19 season.
The Seventh-Day Adventist have also done that through a press release.
There hasn’t been an official release from the Roman Catholic Church but media reported for a Senior bishop in Blantyre announcing in church on the same.
Though these are the only big churches that have made their position in public on the topic, it may not be porous to underline that all, of not most churches in the country, are doing that.
In fact, it’s not just churches in Malawi asking their followers to continue tithing and giving offering.
One of South Africa’s mega churches, Rhema Bible Church and Covenant Fellowship Church, have also had their leaders going on television to ask for tithe and offering from their members and followers.
Probably one of the world’s popular preaches, Joel Ostein of the Lakewood Church in Texas, was also online with his wife, a week ago, asking his members and followers to continue giving tithe and offerings.
Against all this, questions are emerging as to why social media was unequivocal in the attack of Bushiri for asking tithe and offering when he did what, arguably, most churches are already doing?
Was Bushiri wrong or he is just a victim of social media hate and jealously against his personal success and the success of his ministry?
In the 10 years he has been around as a leader, Bushiri has done so much beyond preaching the gospel on the pulpit.
He has given free food to millions of Malawians, he has built secondary schools, he has supported youths with business capital, he pays fees for thousands of orphans and whenever there is a disaster he is always the first to respond.
Perhaps, Bushiri will be celebrated one day.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :